Perhaps, you’ll find this BIZARRE, but this one’s totally LEGIT!
NASA is currently looking for volunteers to participate in their “BED REST STUDIES”, in which participants will have to spend 70 straight days in bed, receiving $18,000 for the period of aggressive bodily atrophy. Participants are allowed to read books, Skype, play games, as well as use their phones and computers throughout the duration of the study. (For it to be, well, LESS BORING). Pretty much anything is fair game, so long as you remain in bed, earning as awesome as $1,200 per week.
And, for those who still have vivid childhood dreams about being an astronaut, there may be an altruistic element to participating in the project. In doing so, you’re actually helping the country further conquer the final frontier – space.
Subjects in the study look at it as a way to help. In that what we eventually do will help astronauts maintain their health while in space,” says Dr Roni Cromwell, senior scientist on the bed rest study.
The experiments are designed to find ways of preserving astronauts’ health and safety during periods of extended space travel. “Head down” bed rest is a good way of simulating travel through zero gravity space. Think about it, zero gravity means zero weight or strain on your muscles. It’s a more accessible way of analyzing the bodily changes that occur during space travel.
More so, the beds are tilted head-down at a six-degree angle. According to Dr Cromwell, this tilt which causes body fluids to shift to the upper part of the body, sets off cardiovascular events that are similar to what we see in a space flight.
And by putting someone in bed for a long time, there is also atrophy of the muscle and atrophy of bone density,” she explains.
Within the experiment there are 2 study groups: exercising and non-exercising. The exercising group will be subjected to exercise training (on special equipment to maintain the laying down position), whilst the non-exercising group will remain completely at ease.
The entire duration of the study actually lasts between 97 and 105 days, depending on whether you’re a non-exercising or an exercising subject, respectively.
For the first 13 days for non-exercising subjects and 21 days for exercising subjects, you’re able to move freely (in and out of bed) within the bed rest facility. However, after this period you will be prohibited from leaving the bed for the next 70 days, aside from a few specified tests, where you must lay with your head back and feet up. Throughout the entire duration of the study, you will be subject to bone, muscle and heart tests, as well as tests of your circulatory and nervous systems, your nutritional condition, and your body’s capacity to fight off infections.
So is it worth it?